OCONTO COUNTY - As more people head out to enjoy the weather, those in the outdoor adventure business say it's a banner year.
White water rafting, in particular, is seeing a boom.
"It's really scary. It feels like time slows down," said Tom Roche, visiting Oconto County from Davenport, Iowa.
White water rafters say the fear of a level two rapid on the Peshtigo River is nothing compared to the adrenaline rush of going over it.
"Really you're in it for, like, two seconds, you pop in and out and kind of hope you tip over so you can swim a little bit," said Roche.
It's hard to believe with air temperatures in the 60s this weekend that the area was covered in snow just last week. But the rafting guides say melting snow has made for excellent conditions on the Peshtigo River.
"Snowmobilers got an extra two weeks of season, which cut into our rafting season with the river still froze over. But that helped us not need as much rain to get the river so high," said Dale Guarniere, a staff member at Kosir's River Rafts.
"We went down at noon and it was at 24 and then yesterday at 3:00 it rose 2 inches so it was at 26, 27," said Holly Schiffler of Albany, Minn.
And whether first timers or river regulars, rafters say they're reveling in the higher waters this weekend.
"This is the best time we ever came. And they say the river's still rising now," said Roche.
"This is going to be one of the better ones. 2008 we saw a great summer a lot of rain in the summer," said Guarniere.
Rafting tour companies say they expect a record spring and summer for business.
But, that's all contingent on Mother Nature.
"If we want record levels, it's going to take a little rain," said Guarniere.
If you're looking to go white water rafting this spring, you may want to make your reservations soon.
Tour guides say they're booking up all the way through Memorial Day already.
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